Recently, voice technology has surged in adoption among enterprises, with 68% of companies reporting they have a voice technology strategy in place, an 18% increase from 2019. And among the companies that don’t, 60% plan to in the next 5 years.
The pandemic forever altered enterprises’ tech stack. Many companies already had countless pieces of software in place – from web conferencing to collaboration tools – that made the transition from face-to-face to remote a bit more seamless, but the pandemic spurred the rapid growth of other technologies in both importance and popularity throughout 2020. Voice technology, specifically, experienced a marked increase in adoption among enterprises, with 68% of respondents reporting their company has a voice technology strategy – up 18% from 2019.
The pandemic has shown that the organizations that already integrated voice technology into their tech stacks had the ability to scale, pivot, adapt, and operate with the robustness to deal with unexpected changes. But barriers to adoption are still rampant, as outlined in Speechmatics’ annual Trends and Predictions for Voice Technology Report.
The biggest challenges with voice technology currently are accuracy (73%) and accent or dialect-related issues (51%). Traditionally in speech recognition, the engine is trained to recognize one dialect of a language at a time, making that dialect the one it most accurately recognizes, comprehends and, for speech-to-text, also transcribes. In English, it’s American English, and error rates have typically been higher for Australian accents, British accents, Jamaican accents, and so forth. For companies leveraging the technology to interact with a global customer base, this presents a massive challenge. In order for speech technology to reach its highest potential, it needs to understand everyone it’s interacting with.
But, providers are making massive strides in this area to make sure that voice technology is applicable and useful for all end-users, and organizations are starting to understand what that future potential will be. Of the respondents who have not yet put in place a strategy for voice technology, 60% reported it’s something they’ll consider in the next 5 years. With the technology behind voice technology evolving, and new innovations making it increasingly more reliable and accurate, it’s certain to be a crucial part of any enterprises’ tech stack.
The pandemic might have accelerated existing digital transformation, but it also showed organizations the acute importance of the new, must-have tools for the tech stack. There’s no doubt that in 2021 and beyond, voice technology will be a crucial one.